If it's wrong, I've probably said it...
Probably the last update I do from here
Published on March 25, 2007 By chiprj In Blogging
Well, the third week of our trip has come and gone. We have less than a week left before we return to California. This last week, we'll be taking one more weekly quiz, finishing up our interview projects, taking an end of course test, and then having our closing ceremony on Friday. One night this week, we'll likely go out with our instructors for dinner and maybe some Norae-bang (private karaoke room) action.

As far as pics go, I only have three this time. I took a lot more than that, but between the fact that I chose a lower quality setting and the fact that most of the people I asked to take group shots of us took very shaky shots, I don't have much to share.

This first shot here is taken outside one of the subway stations near the main US base in Seoul.

On Saturday, we visited both the Korean National Parliament and Kyoungbok-goong (no idea if that's the right way to romanize it, but there it is). I have pics from the palace, Kyoungbok-goong, but the ones with us in them did not turn out very well. I'll collect up the pics the other students got later and maybe I'll be able to share one of those later.

This shot is from the Korean National Parliament Museum.

We got to go inside the main Parliament chamber but we had to promise that we wouldn't put any pictures we took there on the internet. You're not really missing anything by me not posting them.

Last Friday, as part of our weekly task based activities, we visited two schools. One group went to a girls middle school and my group went to a girls high school. Some of the younger men in our group were really looking forward to spending some time with high school girls, so I made a point of having the groups broken up by age and having the main instructor send the younger men to the middle school. I enjoy foiling people. I enjoy it more when they get upset at my foiling. I had a happy Friday that was further fueled by the receptions each group got at their schools.

The middle school group had a good time and they were able to interview a teacher and a couple students with questions we had prepared the day before. Overall, they said it was a good experience.

My group had a great time. From the moment we entered the school grounds we were treated like rock stars. We got to interview a teacher for about 45 minutes and learned a lot of specific information about the subject she taught, her education background and other individual stuff, as well as background about the school itself and some information about the students. At lunchtime, she took us to her homeroom class and had the students rearrange desks so that we could each sit with a small group of students and chat during lunch. She also made some of them share lunches (most Korean high schools will prepare lunches in a kitchen and then deliver them to the classrooms to save space on a cafeteria) so that we could all have a lunch.

The entire lunch hour was spent asking and answering questions and just having a good time with the students who marvelled at our ability to even utter phrase book level Korean. Being able to go on for longer than one sentence was amazing to them. Some of them didn't realize how much we could understand, even after their teacher told them we could speak and understand well, until we caught them talking about us and reacted. The class itself was about 30 students, but we easily had 50+ more come and visit while we were there.

As soon as one student asked permission to take a picture with a camera phone, the flood gates opened. I posed with students for tons of pictures, as did the other four people in my group. I got some pictures with my camera as well, but most of the shots came out fairly blurry.

Here is a group shot of us with the class. Tomorrow I'm picking up a developed 4x6 that we'll frame and sign a background mat to send to the school as a thank you for having us that day.

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on Dec 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Chiprj!


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